THE chances that DNA found on balaclavas allegedly used in a robbery did not match the defendants standing trial for it are 'one in a billion', an expert has said.

Forensic scientist Sophie Ashworth was giving evidence in the trial of Dominic Hugh McKenna, 38, and Roy Richard Connell, 41, who stand accused of robbing Stephen Mountain and Alison Henderson at a house in Edmond Street, Darwen, last November. They are also accused of kidnapping Alec Harris.

Ms Ashworth told the jury at Preston Crown Court there was no DNA linking Mr Harris to the robbery on the balaclavas and also disputed McKenna’s claim that he only had the balaclava on for a short period at a drunken party.

She said: “It’s within my expectation that if he was to put a balaclava on for a short time we wouldn’t have obtained such a clear and strong DNA profile.”

McKenna, of Hazel Avenue, Darwen, and Connell, of Bolton Road, Darwen, both deny false imprisonment and two counts of robbery.

William Gorman, 40, of Perry Street, Darwen, has pleaded guilty to the same offences.